Lake Silence would not be my choice of fictional vacation spots, but Anne Bishop creates a world so full of detail that it is easy to determine if it would be your choice to rest, relax, and explore. If you haven’t read Anne Bishop’s last 5-book series, You The Others, (which I haven’t) this first book in her new series, The World of the Others, can be challenging at first. It took me about 50-100 pages to fully understand the world in which I was dropped but I was very happy to have stuck it out because the story that unfolded was both memorable and enjoyable.
In an apocalyptic world, the animals and elements are sentient beings and are very mad at the disrespect shown to them and their world by the human inhabitants. The book is set post-war, with many ghost towns acting as memorials to all that was lost. Humans, elementals and animals are all trying to figure out how to live together in peace and the main character Vicky DeVine is an answer to that need.
She comes to own a refuge for terra indigene (the collective name for sentient elementals and animals), called The Jumble, as the result of a divorce from an emotionally abusive man. She respected the agreement set up between the terra indigene and the human that was its initial caretaker with such care that the beings respected and trusted her without fail and the town prospered and knew peace as a result.
When her ex-husband comes and tries to take the land for human development, we see that evil side of man – the greed and lack of respect that is often criticized in our own world. And it is met with a swift response that we can only hope taught any humans with the same ideas a lesson.
Greed and lack of respect in our own world is partly a human condition and partly a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. It is a constant battle to determine how much development should be allowed for any given area and many things come into play in the decision-making such as potential income gains and the effect on the environment to name a few. In our world, there are many laws and groups that help aid in the control of development but, in the world of the Others, no such limitations exist. This story imagines the question, “what if the environment began fighting back.” It is not a new imagining but Bishop answers it in a way where one can truly suspend disbelief and become part of that world.